Tax Alerts
Tax Briefing(s)

There is good news to offer in the form of an enhanced child tax credit.  Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the child tax credit has doubled, increased the refundable portion, and expanded its scope to include dependents other than qualified children.  In addition, the TCJA broadened the pool of taxpayers eligible for the credit by significantly increasing adjusted-gross-income (AGI) phaseout ranges.  The following is an overview of the eligibility requirements and other changes to the child tax credit effective for tax years 2018 through 2025:


As you go about your daily life conducting business online, hackers are in the wings waiting to pounce and exploit one innocent miss-click, mistake or mismanagement of company data. Turning a blind eye or being in denial of the realities of cybercrime and data breaches can destroy your company’s brand and reputation. You must continually work toward protecting your business from cybercrime and you must monitor your systems and process 24/7 without fail.


In general, the new tax Act provides for stricter limits on the deductibility of business meals and entertainment expenses. Under the Act entertainment expenses incurred or paid after December 31, 2017 are nondeductible unless they fall under specific exceptions. One of those exceptions is for “expenses for recreation, social, or similar activities primarily for the benefit of the taxpayer’s employees, other than highly compensated employees.” (i.e. office holiday parties are still deductible). Business meals provided for the convenience of the employer are now only 50% deductible whereas before the Act they were fully deductible. Barring further action by Congress those meals will be nondeductible after 2025.


The 2018 dollar limit on the maximum permissible allocation under a defined contribution plan is $55,000. The maximum amount of annual compensation that may be taken into account on behalf of any participant under a qualified defined contribution plan is $275,000.

The 2018 limit on the maximum amount of elective contributions that a person may make in to a §401(k) plan, a §403(b) tax-sheltered annuity or a §457(b) eligible deferred compensation is $18,500. The limit on "catch-up contributions" for persons age 50 and older is $6,000.

The 2018 dollar limit on the maximum annual benefit under a defined benefit plan is $220,000.


As the school year ends, summer vacation offers parents and students alike the opportunity to focus on what may be their most considered subject: PAYING FOR COLLEGE. Many families commit unforced errors in their efforts to save and pay for hefty tuition bills.

Among the traps people fall into are:

  • Obsessing about school choice;
  • Thinking it isn’t worth it to apply for aid or scholarships; and
  • Not considering “529” college-savings plans.

States have become quicker to declare assets “abandoned” when account owners lose touch with a financial institution.  Although state laws vary, assets may be determined abandoned if the account owner has not made contact with the institution for three to five years.  These accounts consist of refunds, bank accounts, insurance proceeds and recovered goods, including cash, stock, bonds and other items that may belong to you. 


IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has asked companies to report patterns of fraud and for tax preparation firms to team up to fight return fraud.  Criminals are using stolen identities to claim refunds.


The Washingtonian has recognized Dalbert B. Ginsberg as one of the Washington Metropolitan area top Tax Accountants based on a survey of financial professionals and research conducted by the magazine.


The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) advanced President Donald Trump’s nomination of Charles Rettig for IRS Commissioner. The SFC approved the nomination on July 19 by a 14-to-13 party line vote.


President Donald Trump and House GOP tax writers discussed "Tax Cuts 2.0" in a July 17 meeting at the White House. The next round of tax cuts will focus primarily on the individual side of the tax code, both Trump and House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady, R-Tex., reiterated to reporters at the White House before the meeting.


House Republicans and the Trump Administration are working together to craft a tax cut "2.0"outline, the House’s top tax writer has said. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex., told reporters during the week that House tax writers and the White House are currently working to finalize the "framework."


The Senate Finance Committee’s (SFC) leading Democrat has released a report critiquing Republicans’ 2017 overhaul of the tax code. The report, focusing primarily on international tax reform, was released by SFC ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on July 18.


Homeowners will be hurt financially by last year’s tax reform, according to a new House Democratic staff report. The report alleges that real estate developers will primarily benefit from the new tax law at the expense of homeowners.


The IRS has issued final regulations that target tax-motivated inversion transactions and certain post-inversion tax avoidance transactions. The final regulations retain the thresholds and substantiation requirements of the 2016 final, temporary and proposed regulations (the 2016 regulations), but make limited changes to the 2016 regulations to improve clarity and reduce unnecessary complexity and burdens on taxpayers. These changes also ensure that the final regulations do not impact cross-border transactions that are economically beneficial and not tax-motivated.


The Fifth Circuit vacated a tax preparer’s conviction for obstructing tax administration. The conviction was no longer valid in light of C.J. Marinello, SCt., 2018-1 ustc ¶50,192.


National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson has released her mid-year report to Congress. The report contains a review of the 2018 filing season, and identifies the priority issues the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will address during the upcoming fiscal year. It also includes the IRS’s responses to each of the 100 administrative recommendations made in the 2017 Annual Report to Congress.